FIT Unveils Boot Exhibit

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York highlights footwear with the upcoming exhibit “Boots: The Height of Fashion.”

The retrospective was curated by graduate students of the school’s Fashion and Textile Master of Arts Program at the School of Graduate Studies and will run from March 5 through April 6.

The exhibit examines how women’s boots have become expressions of sexuality, rebellion and status. Included in the exhibition are 20 styles from the museum’s archives, designed by Paul Poiret, Martin Margiela and Christian Louboutin. The look back begins with a circa-1900 walking boot by Jack Jacobus that features a tightly fitted ankle, curved high heel and seductive red silk lining, exemplifying a change in the social position and status of the women who wore it.

A section called Sex features five pairs of boots, such as Louboutin’s high-heeled scarlet satin boot from his fall ’94 collection, complete with gold hardware and passementerie trim.

The Rebellion section explores the power of boots as a challenge to the status quo. Included is a pair of 1963 Anello & Davide Chelsea boots worn by model and actress Jane Holzer. The style featured a higher Cuban heel, a silhouette worn by both men and women. The look was adopted by the Beatles.

The Status section includes boots by Yves Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik and Paul Poiret. A pair of peasant boots worn by Poiret’s wife, Denise, was reported to have created a buzz when she was photographed wearing them during the couple’s 1918 tour of the U.S.